Jewish American Princess

waling-wall

This is not gonna be pretty.

When I was a kid, I remember growing up and feeling overwhelmed at having to constantly explain to people what I believed and who I was. All of my friends didn’t understand why I didn’t have a Christmas tree in the house or why I was eating my usual peanut butter sandwiches for a whole week on matzo. How on earth is a 7 year old supposed to explain that she’s Jewish and believes in Jesus?!

College was even no different. I remember standing in line to get a cup of coffee on campus and someone behind me asking me if I was Jewish (I was wearing my Star of David). When I said yes then they also asked if I was a student. I said yes. They had this puzzled look on their face and said, “How can you go to school here if you’re a Jew?” I kid you not!

This sounds so horrible, but I wish I was understood without having to feel like I’m defending the very core of who I am. I have no problem conversing with people and telling them my background. I can’t blame people for asking because they usually genuinely want to know so they can know me better. I’m very proud of my Jewish heritage and my faith. But for once, I would like to just not have to say anything and be understood. I know there aren’t a lot of us, and I know in a Christian setting all the time, many don’t understand how I can lead a believer’s life while still maintaining my Jewish heritage when it seems on the surface that they conflict.

I think I’m just feeling like I’m always out of place or misunderstood. The Seminary TJ attends is very big on singing Hymns. Out of place. People seem offended that we didn’t decorate for Christmas. Misunderstood. My apartment manager left a note on the door telling us to remove our mazuzah because there isn’t supposed to be anything on the doorposts. Ignorant.

I struggle to keep my Jewish identity when I am the only one living it. I’ve gotta find an outlet where I can just be myself without any explanation.

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3 thoughts on “Jewish American Princess

  1. Hey Schmups, I just read your blog. Well said! I guess we did a good job teaching you who you are. It is a tenuous line we walk, rejected by our own and misunderstood by Christians. Being a little more Jewish wouldn’t hurt the church. The most important issue is TRUTH. We moved into the truth when God called us, and it fits very naturally – our Jewishness and Yeshua (Jesus). After all, the Jewish people (Israel) are the natural branches. That is why we have a Messianic Congregation, to put Jesus back in His Jewish context. Our Jewish people don’t recognize Him because He doesn’t look Jewish any more, just like Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him because he didn’t look Jewish anymore either. But a day is coming when “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26). So until then, just keep being who God made you. You are part of the remnant of Israel. And the gentiles are fellow citizens, grafted into the same tree by faith, contrary to nature. You have a ministry to both groups.
    Love, Dad

  2. Been there, Jessie. Easier said, but try not to get discouraged; people’s strange questions and assumptions are often great opportunities to share the Good News and the Truth about the Jewish Messiah, the Savior of the World.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that. That is hard. You’re courageous and brave. I love you and your heritage–it’s beautiful. Us ignorant Christians have much to learn from you, a Jew and a believer.

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